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to be canonically necessary to such an act. This sentiment, which he also supposed to be entertained by the gentleman who had been consecrated with him, was duly respected by the body, while they manifested an earnest desire of the union alluded to; and, with a view to it, voted their opinion in favour of the validity of Bishop Seabury's consecration; in which their president concurred.

In order to carry the sentiments of the convention into effect, they signified their request to the two bishops consecrated in England, that they would unite with Bishop Seabury in the consecration of Mr. Bass; and they framed an address to the archbishops and bishops of England, requesting their approbation of the measure, for the removing of any difficulty or delicacy which might remain on the minds of the bishops whom they had already consecrated. And here it may be proper to record, that the difficulty was not long after removed in another way by the convention of Virginia, in their electing of the Rev. James Madison, D. D. president of William and Mary College, Williamsburg, their bishop; and by his being consecrated in England.

At the present session of the General Convention, the constitution formed in 1786 was reviewed and new modelled. The principal feature now given to it, was a distribution into two houses, one consisting of the bishops, and the other of the clerical and lay deputies, who must vote, when required by the clerical or by the lay representation from any state, as under the former constitution, by orders. The stated meetings were to be on the second Tuesday in September in every third year; but intermediate meetings might be called by the bishops.

When the convention adjourned, it was to the 29th of September following: and before the adjournment, an invitation was given by them to Bishop Seabury, and to their brethren generally in the eastern states, to be present at the proposed session, with a view to a permanent union.

On that day the convention reassembled, when it appeared that Bishop Seabury, with sundry of the clergy from Massachusetts and Connecticut, had accepted the invitation given them. There was laid before the convention, and by them ordered to be recorded, evidence of that bishop's consecration; which had been performed by Bishops Kilgour, Petrie, and Skinner, of the non-juring Church in Scotland. There then ensued a conference between a committee of the convention and the clergy from the eastern states; the result of which was, that, after one

alteration of the constitution at their desire, they declared their acquiescence in it, and gave it their signatures accordingly.

It had been provided in the constitution, that the arrangement of two houses should take place, as soon as three bishops should belong to the body. This circumstance now occurred, although there were present only two of them, who accordingly formed the House of Bishops.

The two houses entered on a review of the liturgy, the bishops originating alterations in some services, and the House of Clerical and Lay Deputies proposing others. The result was the Book of Common Prayer, as then established, and has been ever since used.

Some canons had been passed in the preceding session; but they were reconsidered and passed with sundry others, which continue to this day substantially the same; but with some alterations and additions by succeeding conventions. I.

The next Triennial Convention was held in the city of New-York, in the autumn of 1792, at which were present the four bishops already mentioned to have been consecrated abroad. Hitherto there had been no consecration in America; but at this convention, although nothing further was brought before them from Massachusetts, relative to Dr. Bass, the deputies from Maryland applied to the assembled bishops for the consecration of the Rev. Thomas John Claggett, D. D. who had been elected bishop by the convention of that state. Dr. Claggett was accordingly consecrated, during the session of the convention, in Trinity Church, of the city in which they were assembled.*

The bishops, having reviewed the ordinal of the Church of England, proposed a few alterations in it to the House of Clerical and Lay Deputies; principally such as were necessary for the accommodating of it to local circumstances. The ordinal, thus reviewed, is now the established form for the consecrating of bishops and the ordaining of priests and deacons. K.

In September, 1795, there was held another Triennial Convention, in the city of Philadelphia; at which were present all the bishops, except Bishop Seabury. Besides other matters acted on, some canons were made; and a service was ordered for the consecrating of a church or

Dr. Claggett was consecrated by Bishop Provoost, who presided at this convention, assisted by Bishops Seabury, White, and Madison.

chapel. It is substantially the same with a service composed by Bishop Andrews, in the reign of James the First; and since commonly used by the English bishops in such consecration; but without the authority of convocation or of parliament. During the session, there took place the consecration of the Rev. Robert Smith, D. D. rector of St. Philip's, in Charleston, South-Carolina; who had been elected by the convention in that state their bishop.* L.

Between this and the next convention, there was consecrated the Rev. Edward Bass; again recommended from Massachusetts and New-Hampshire: the certificate usually given on such occasions by the General Convention, being in this instance given by a standing committee of that body, agreeably to a provision which had been made to that effect.+

And on the 18th of October of the same year, there was consecrated, in Trinity Church, in the city of New-Haven, the Rev. Abraham Jarvis, D. D. for the state of Connecticut.‡

There would have been a convention in Philadelphia, in September, 1798; but the prevalence of epidemical disease preventing their assembling, the bishops, agreeably to a power vested in them when desired by a standing committee of the convention, summoned that body to meet, in the same city, on the 11th of June, 1799. On this occasion, the review of the articles was moved in the House of Clerical and Lay Deputies. And a committee was appointed, who drew up a body of articles; which were not acted on, but ordered to be printed on the journal, as a report of a committee of one of the houses, to lie over for the consideration of the next convention; which was appointed to be in the city of Trenton, New-Jersey. M.

It assembled there, in September, 1801; when there was brought before the bishops present at it, three in number, the question of the admissibility of a resignation of the Episcopal charge. A letter from Bishop Provoost had been addressed to one of the bishops present, and by him laid before the house, stating, that, induced by ill

The consecration of Dr. Smith was by the presiding bishop, assisted by Bishops Provoost, Madison, and Claggett.

The consecration of Dr. Bass was in Christ Church, in the city of Philadel phia, May 7th, 1797, by the presiding bishop, assisted by Bishops Provoost and Claggett.

The consecration of Dr. Jarvis was by Bishop White, assisted by Bishops Provoost and Bass.

health and some circumstances of a domestic nature, he wished to retire from all public employment; and had therefore resigned, at a late meeting of the convention in New-York, his jurisdiction of bishop in that state. In consequence of this resignation, the Rev. Benjamin Moore, D. D. who, on account of Bishop Provoost's resignation of the rectory of Trinity Church, in the city of New-York, had been chosen to that place, was also elected to succeed to the Episcopacy. The House of Bishops having taken this subject under their serious consideration, and doubting of the propriety of sanctioning Episcopal resignation, declined any act to that effect. But being sensible of the exigency existing in the state of New-York, they consented to the consecration of an assistant bishop: it being understood, that he should be competent in point of character to all the Episcopal duties; and, that the extent in which the same were to be discharged by him, should be dependent on such regulations as expediency might dictate to the Church in New-York; grounded on the indisposition of Bishop Provoost, and with his concurrence. Conformably with the line of conduct thus laid down, Dr. Benjamin Moore, being duly recommended, was consecrated during the session, in St. Michael's Church, Trenton; and took his seat in the House of Bishops.

In this convention, the important business of the articles was again taken up; and now, for the first time, authoritatively acted on. After repeated discussions and propositions, it had been found, that the doctrines of the Gospel, as they stand in the thirty-nine Articles of the Church of England, with the exception of such matters as are local, were more likely to give general satisfaction than the same doctrines in any new form that might be devised. The former were therefore adopted by the two houses of convention, without their altering of even the obsolete diction in them; but with notices of such changes as change of situation had rendered necessary. Exclusively of such, there is one exception, that of adapting the article concerning the creeds, to the former exclusion of the Athanasian.

It is further to be remembered, that, in regard to subscription to the articles, there is a considerable difference between the form required in the Church of England, as laid down in her thirty-sixth canon, and that prescribed in the constitution of the American Church. The latter form had so far acquired the approbation of the English prelates,

as to be thought sufficient on the part of those who came to them for consecration from America. N.

Throughout this Narrative, it must have appeared, that the object kept in view, in all the consultations held, and the determinations formed, was the perpetuating of the Episcopal Church, on the ground of the general principles which she had inherited from the Church of England; and of not departing from them, except so far as either local circumstances required, or some very important cause rendered proper. To those acquainted with the system of the Church of England, it must be evident, that the object here stated was accomplished on the ratification of the articles.

The next Triennial Convention was in the city of NewYork, September 11th, 1804. Canons were passed, extending to a greater variety of objects than had been provided for before. An office was framed and ordered to be used, at the induction of ministers to the rectorship of churches. A course of ecclesiastical studies of candidates for orders, was prescribed by the bishops. And the constitution was altered, agreeably to a proposition made in the preceding convention, and notified to the conventions in the states, so as that the future Triennial Conventions shall be in the month of May, instead of September. During the session, the Rev. Samuel Parker, D. D. rector of Trinity Church, in Boston, was consecrated bishop in Trinity Church, New-York, in the room of Bishop Bass, who had departed this life. There had also died, since the last convention, Bishop Smith, of South-Carolina. And it was understood, that the Rev. Edward Jenkins, D. D. who had been elected to supply his place, had declined the station. Since the events here recorded, Bishop Parker departed this life, a few months after his consecration. O.

The next meeting of the General Convention was in the city of Baltimore, from May 17th, 1808, to the 26th of the same month. Two bishops only (Bishops White and Claggett) were present at this convention: and the Church in seven states only was represented.

There was now ratified the long proposed amendment. of the constitution; annulling the provision, by which fourfifths of the House of Clerical and Lay Deputies could accomplish a measure, without the concurrence of the House of Bishops.

There was also proposed another amendment of the constitution, for the preventing of alterations in the liturgy,

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